Skipper Cup

Skipper Cup’s Final Round Heats Up

Suva, Naitasiri, Namosi, Nadroga confirmed for semifinals Lautoka, Yasawa relegated, Rewa, Northland step up Tailevu travel to Nadi for double-header showdown
27 Oct 2020 14:24
Skipper Cup’s Final Round Heats Up
Nadi lock Vilikesa Boletawa claims possession against Namosi at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, on.October 24, 2020. Nadi won 22-21. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Skipper Cup competition heads into the last round this weekend as the top four teams have been confirmed for the semifinals.

Defending champions Suva, Naitasiri, Nadroga, and Namosi have secured maximum points to make the semifinals despite last Saturday’s results.

Suva are expected to host Namosi at the ANZ Stadium in Suva while Naitasiri take on Nadroga at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori.

On the other hand Lautoka join Yasawa as they are relegated to next year’s Vodafone Vanua Championship.

They are being replaced by Rewa and Northland.

For the four semi-finalists they are gunning for the Skipper Cup after they missed out on the Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy.

It will be a battle for supremacy in the Skipper Cup with defending champions Suva doing all they can to retain the Cup.

 

NATIONAL DUTIES

Although they’ll be without Serupepeli Vularika and Tevita Ikanivere who are away for national duties but they have players who can stand in from them.

Also on that same assignment are Naitasiri’s Chris Minimbi, Tuidraki Samusamuvodre, Samuela Tawake, Peni Matawalu of Namosi, Nadroga’s Manueli Ratuniyarawa and Jone Koroiduadua.Expect a fast pace

and physical rugby from all teams this weekend, one thing is for sure the big boys will play for keeps while they focus on their semifinal.

 

WHAT COACHES SAY

Now let’s be realistic and have a glance of what our four coaches will be working on this week.

Dr Ilaitia Tuisese Jnr (Naitasiri) said: “We will be working on our discipline and game plan which is something we have to improve against as a built up for our semifinal match.”

Asaeli Boko (Namosi) said: “After last week’s disappointing performance the team have nothing to lose as they will try and win the Skipper Cup with their exciting backline.”

Esala Nauga (Nadroga) said: “We have a young side that is developing and the remaining games we going to play are all build-up for the semifinal as our plan is to get into the final.”

Sakaraia Labalaba (Suva) said: “We are leading the Skipper Cup ladder and our goal is to retain our title.

“For us it is all about consistency, we have the capabilities but we sometimes lose focus but we are ready.”

Fans can now have a snippet of what the semifinals will be like after this week’s Skipper rounds.

 

DOUBLE HEADER

Despite the hype of the semi-finals new Farebrother-Sullivan holders Nadi know that challengers Tailevu will come out firing on Saturday, in their Skipper Cup/Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy double header clash.

Nadi pipped Namosi 22-21 last Saturday to take home the country’s prestigious rugby crown.

Nadi captain Veremalua Vugakoto said they would have to lift their preparations and game this weekend.

“It’s the first week that we are defending the trophy it won’t be easy because Tailevu is a good team,” the former Flying Fijians hooker said.

“We will try and lift the tempo of our game and try to improve on areas that we feel needs improvement.”

Following their 24-19 win over Naitasiri, Tailevu have confirmed their spot in next season’s Skipper Cup.

 

THIS WEEKEND

The final round sees, Suva take on Namosi at the ANZ Stadium, Naitasiri play Yasawa at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori, Nadroga host Lautoka at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka while Nadi play Tailevu at home.

 

 Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

 



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